Basic health care can be hard for trans people to get. A Phoenix provider explains why
Finding a doctor who can offer gender affirming care isn’t always easy or accessible. For the trans community, it can be a matter of life and death. Primary care is critical for trans people of all ages.
Ari Kravitz is a nurse practitioner at Spectrum Medical Care in Phoenix, which provides gender affirming health care.
"So I was assigned female at birth and transitioned to male during college," said Kravitz. "And I knew I wanted to provide primary care to the LGBTQ community."
It can be difficult for this population to get basic health care. Take, for example, a trans masculine individual who still has a cervix.
"They do still need pap smears. And that can be something that is very traumatizing and very distressing to have to go into a primary care provider and say, ‘Hey, I'm doing an annual wellness exam, I also need to get a pap smear,'" said Kravitz.
Kravitz also says trans masculine people who are over the age of 50 may need a mammogram. Trans feminine people are not exempt from those basic screenings.
"Depending on what surgeries they've had, they need to get the standard prostate cancer screenings if they still have a prostate, testicular cancer exams," Kravitz said.
Many trans individuals avoid or postpone health care visits because of discrimination or disrespect from some providers.